RAMS PICKED THIRD IN PRESEASON COACHES’ POLL; RODRIGUEZ EARNS FIRST-TEAM HONORS

RICHMOND, Va. – With less than a month left before the start of the 2010-11 men's basketball season, the preseason prognostications are beginning to roll in.

On Tuesday, at the annual Colonial Athletic Association Basketball Media, the coaches, media and Sports Information Directors around one of the country's top mid-major conferences let their own thoughts be known with the release of the CAA Preseason Poll.

From that poll, the Virginia Commonwealth University men's basketball team learned that the Rams were picked to finish third in the conference, while senior point guard Joey Rodriguez was selected as a member of the Preseason All-CAA First Team.

2010-11 CAA Preseason Poll and Preseason Teams

CAA Preseason Poll
1) Old Dominion
2) George Mason
3) VCU
4) James Madison
5) Hofstra
6) Drexel
7) Northeastern
8) William & Mary
9) Delaware
10) Towson
11) Georgia State
12) UNC Wilmington

Preseason All-CAA First Team
Charles Jenkins, G, Hofstra
Denzel Bowles, F, JMU
Chaisson Allen, G, Northeastern
Cam Long, G, George Mason
Joey Rodriguez, G, VCU

Preseason All-CAA Second Team
Kent Bazemore, G/F, Old Dominion
Jawan Carter, G, Delaware
Julius Wells, F, JMU
Ben Finney, G/F, Old Dominion
Quinn McDowell, G/F, William & Mary

Old Dominion, the league's reigning champion, was picked as the favorite, followed by George Mason and the Black & Gold. Upcoming James Madison was selected fourth with Hofstra and Drexel rounding out the top six. Rounding out the poll was Northeastern, William & Mary, Delaware, Towson, Georgia State and UNC Wilmington.

Head Coach Shaka Smart is back for his second season with the Rams after turning in an impressive 27-9 campaign last year, capped off by a perfect 5-0 run en route to the 2010 College Basketball Invitational Championship.

VCU returns four of its five starters, led by Rodriguez who ranked in the top-15 in the country in assists per game at 5.9, as well pouring in 12.9 points per game.

Joining Rodriguez for a very experienced backcourt will be seniors Ed Nixon and Brandon Rozzell, who both enjoyed breakout junior seasons, each averaging over eight points per game. Junior Bradford Burgess has played and started in every game since coming to VCU, while senior Jamie Skeen is a force down low, who averaged over 10 points per game over the final 15 contests of last year.

The Rams will kick off the 2010-11 campaign with a Nov. 4th exhibition contest against intra-city rival Virginia Union. The regular season gets started on Friday, Nov. 12 when UNC Greensboro visits the Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.

 

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